Emissions of Sulfur Oxides (SOx)

An indicator of the air pollution caused by emissions from refineries, power plants, and industrial activity

Significant reduction of emissions; emissions per capita and per unit GDP still high relative to OECD countries

The years 2000-2008 were marked by an average annual decrease of approximately 7% in SOx emissions and a total decrease of approximately 46% in these emissions. The primary source of sulfur oxide emissions is electricity production. The reduction in emissions resulted from the adoption of various measures, foremost among them the use of fuels with a low sulfur content, as well as the use of natural gas, among other measures. Continued use of natural gas rather than coal will significantly reduce these emissions. Similar trends are apparent for all indicators: total emissions, emissions per capita and per GDP, and emissions per GDP per capita (annual decrease of 8%-10%).

The highest concentrates of sulfur dioxide (SO2) were measured near the large power plants and refineries in Haifa, Hadera, and Ashdod although the concentrations do not exceed the maximum permitted values by Israeli standards. The rate of SOx emissions in Israel is low relative to OECD countries, but emissions per capita and per GDP are high relative to other countries. A comparison of the reductions that began in Israel during the first decade of the 21st century indicates that Israel significantly reduced its air pollution relative to the trends apparent in other countries.

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